The right purchase decision for the new lawnmower depends on a variety of criteria. The size of the lawn primarily determines which type of device is perfect. Further aspects are lined up behind it, such as the type of drive, cutting width and maintenance intensity. As a decisive factor, the budget also plays an important role for the investment. This guide brings structure to the complex variety of offers and illuminates all lawnmower types in more detail with tips on the advantages and disadvantages. You can find model-related information at Stiftung Warentest, for example .

Summary overview

Time is a valuable commodity for hobby gardeners. This guide therefore begins with a summary of which lawnmowers have proven themselves in practice for areas ranging from 100 m² to 5,000 m². As the owner of a towel-sized green area, you do not have to deal with the details of a lawn tractor for the extensive park lawn, while gardeners of large green areas look at the manually operated cylinder mower is a waste of time. Only the innovative lawn robot is a suitable candidate for all lawns from 100 m².

Lawns up to 100 m²

  • Electric mowers, cordless mowers, hand mowers, cylinder mowers with cutting widths of up to 30 cm
  • Power: up to 1,000 watts or 1-man power

100 m² to 250 m²

  • Electric mowers, cordless mowers, petrol mowers with cutting widths of 35 to 40 cm
  • Power: 1,200 watts to 1,400 watts or 4 to 6 hp (2.9 to 4.4 kW)

250 m² to 500 m²

  • Electric mowers, petrol mowers with a cutting width of 40 cm to 45 cm
  • Power: 1,400 watts to 1,600 watts or 6 to 8 hp (4.4 to 5.9 kW)

500 m² to 1,000 m²

  • Petrol mowers, electric and cordless mowers with wheel drive, ride-on mowers with cutting widths of 45 to 60 cm
  • Power output: 1,600 watts to 1,800 watts or 8 to 11 hp (5.9 to 8.1 kW)

1,000 m² to 2,000 m²

  • Ride-on mower, lawn tractor, rider with cutting widths from 80 to 100 cm
  • Power output: 12 HP to 15 HP (8.8 to 11.0 kW)

2,000 m² to 5,000 m²

  • Lawn tractor, rider with cutting widths from 100 cm
  • Power: from 15 HP (11.0 kW)

For all lawn sizes from 100 m²

  • Lawn robots with cutting widths from 18 cm to 36 cm
  • Power levels: 100 watts to
Tip: Mulching mowers are not included in the categorization according to lawns. Almost all motorized lawnmower performance classes are also available as mulching mowers or have a module that converts the mower into a mulching mower in just a few simple steps.

A closer look at lawnmower types

Since different types of lawnmowers are suitable for every lawn area, we invite you below to familiarize yourself with the most important properties.

Tip : Due to the constant further development and new model generations, lawn mowers have a shorter life cycle in the trade. For the customer, this means that prices often fall continuously after the market launch. With the Idealo price comparison, for example, you can see the price development.

Hand mower, cylinder mower

Manually operated cylinder mowers cut blades of grass with scissors and leave behind a premium quality lawn. A rotating spindle with sharp cutting blades is built into the mower for this purpose. Since the knives move parallel to the axis of rotation, they cut the stalks cleanly. In order for the green space around the house to come close to the quality of the legendary English lawn, house gardeners accept the effort of operating a hand mower without complaint. With areas of more than 100 m², the use becomes too strenuous. Since cylinder mowers do not have a motor, there are no disadvantages such as noise, smell and knotted power cables. Good quality models can be purchased for less than 100 euros.

You have to do without the convenience of motor-operated lawnmowers with hand mowers or you have to dig deep into your pocket. Petrol cylinder mowers are used on golf courses and soccer fields, the cost of which is usually beyond the private budget for acquisition and maintenance.

Tip: The trend is for innovative cylinder mowers with battery drives and a cutting width of 38 cm. Thanks to this new development, lawns of up to 400 m² will shine in the enviable velvety green of an English lawn in the future. Non-stick coated knives and contactless cutting technology put an end to sweaty pushing.

Electric mower

In new development areas, the low humming of electric motors has replaced the loud crackling of gasoline-powered lawnmowers. That is hardly surprising, since small lawns dominate in modern house construction. Electric mowers are equipped with a current-operated motor and work with a correspondingly low noise level. It is also advantageous for the operator and the environment that no toxic exhaust gases are emitted. There is also no need for laborious pulling on the starter cable. Furthermore, these types of devices are almost maintenance-free. For lawns from 500 m² to 1,000 m², we recommend machines with a wheel drive, which reduces the effort required for mowing to a minimum.

The disadvantage is that classic electric mowers have to be connected to the power supply via a long cable. This fact carries the risk that in the heat of the moment you run the knife bar over the cable, cut it and cause a short circuit.

Cordless mower

Avoid the annoying launch with a meter-long power cable if you opt for a battery-powered lawnmower. Modern devices work with lithium-ion technology as a power source. In contrast, nickel-cadmium batteries are on the decline. Cordless lawnmowers are just as quiet as a whisper, low-maintenance and environmentally friendly, like classic electric mowers. The improved convenience of being independent of the power cable is reflected in the higher purchase price, which quickly exceeds the sound limit of 1,000 euros. Premium machines have a wheel drive and score with a travel speed of up to 5 km / h and cutting widths of more than 50 cm.

The downside of the coin is that a cordless mower stops working when it is empty. This is annoying if you don’t have a spare battery to hand, because even with the quick charging process, it takes an average of 60 minutes before the lawnmower is ready for use again.

Petrol lawn mower

A classic petrol lawnmower is still at the top of the wish list when a new device is to be purchased. Electric and cordless mowers can keep pace with an area of ​​up to 400 m² to 500 m². Between 500 m² and 1,000 m² petrol-powered mowers still boast an unbeatable cost-benefit ratio. Equipped with an electric starter, wheel drive and voluminous grass catcher, mowing the lawn almost takes care of itself.

Regular maintenance work such as changing oil, cleaning air filters and sharpening blades are the downside of petrol lawnmowers. In addition, pollutant emissions and high noise levels cannot be dismissed out of hand.

Tip: The rule of thumb for choosing the cutting width is: the wider the mown track and the larger the grass catcher, the shorter the working time. In order to mow 500 m² of lawn with a 34 cm cutting width, an average grass collector is emptied ten times with a working time of 60 minutes. Lawn mowers with a cutting width of 53 cm fill the grass catcher seven times, which almost halves the working time.

Ride-on mower

Ride-on mowers form the seamless transition from gasoline-powered push lawn mowers to mobile mowers. Entry-level models start in the cutting width where the large petrol lawnmowers leave off. As a result, you don’t have to be a large landowner to consider investing in a ride-on mower. From a lawn area of ​​more than 500 m², powerful petrol mowers with wheel drive and basic models of ride-on mowers are on par in terms of their capacities and purchase prices.

Home gardeners complain about the limited maneuverability of a ride-on mower. Since the engine and mower are under the seat, accurate mowing of trees and other obstacles requires time-consuming maneuvering.

Lawn tractor

Lawn tractors must not be clipped together with ride-on mowers. There are two key differences: the lawn tractor’s engine and mower are mostly at the front, which makes it easier to maneuver on trees and bushes. Furthermore, lawn tractors are the powerhouses among mowers. Premium models work with a two-cylinder engine and a full 20 hp, whiz across the lawn with all-wheel drive and do the job in no time with a cutting width of 120 cm and more. Hydraulic steering makes mowing the lawn a pleasure. So much luxury has its price, because the acquisition costs are the same as a small car.

In addition to the high acquisition costs, gardeners cite the significant maintenance requirement of lawn tractors as a further disadvantage. In the near-natural garden, the mower types are only rarely used due to the high level of pollutant emissions and considerable noise emissions. The trade has now responded to the objections of ecologically-minded home gardeners and offers battery-powered lawn tractors. To what extent these models can cope with large lawns of up to 5,000 m² remains to be seen.

Mowing robot

Robots are on the rise in German ornamental gardens. Thanks to the latest technology, annoying lawn mowing is a thing of the past. All device models have in common that they work fully electronically and draw their energy from accumulators. Special, invisible control cables delimit the lawn area, which the robot uses its sensors to orient itself. Basic models with a cutting width of 18 cm are suitable for green areas up to 400 m². To mow a lawn area of ​​up to 2,000 m², a cutting width of 28 cm is required. With a cutting width of 36 cm, your automatic gardening assistant can manage green areas from 3,000 m² to 5,000 m².

Since robotic lawn mowers function as mulching mowers, they are not suitable for cutting tall grass. Lawns on a slope push the mower to its limits, as does bumpy terrain. Home gardeners find it a disruptive disadvantage that all objects have to be collected from the area in advance, unless they are marked with a control cable laid in the ground and thus perceptible to the sensors of the lawn robot.

However, recently carried out tests cast doubts about the safety of some models – as can be read here in the hardware store manager .

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